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Since its creation in 2000, the UBS VERBIER FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has achieved an outstanding international reputation for quality, vitality and commitment under its Conductor Laureate James Levine. The orchestra, consisting of 100 musicians aged 17 to 29 who represent some 30 countries, is now in its eighth year.
In addition to being the Orchestra in Residence at the Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland every summer, the orchestra tours internationally every autumn. In November 2007, it tours the United States and Europe with Martha Argerich and Charles Dutoit.
The orchestra has performed with many of the world's finest conductors, including James Levine, Jir?í Be?lohlávek, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Claus Peter Flor, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, Neeme Järvi, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Gianandrea Noseda, Mikhail Pletnev, Mstislav Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Yuri Temirkanov, and Michael Tilson Thomas. The remarkable roster of internationally acclaimed soloists who have appeared with the orchestra includes Leif Ove Andsnes, Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Renée Fleming, Hilary Hahn, Barbara Hendricks, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Mischa Maisky, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mikhail Pletnev, Thomas Quasthoff, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Bryn Terfel, and Maxim Vengerov.
The growing international reputation of the orchestra, coupled with its unique global membership, has made it a coveted guest to perform at flagship international and cultural events. It was invited to play for delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2003, while in recent years smaller chamber ensembles have performed at the annual meeting of the Nobel Foundation, the International Olympic Committee anniversary, the Swiss Expo.02, the Art 34 Basel art fair, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and for the International Institute of Finance's 2006 spring membership meeting.
The UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra is widely considered to be one of the world's leading training orchestras. Each year, principal members from New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra coach the orchestra in the weeks preceding the Verbier Festival. This invaluable orchestral training and the experience of working with great conductors and soloists have helped launch the professional careers of many former orchestra members. Orchestra alumni have joined leading orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich.
The UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, composed of the top musicians and alumni from the symphony orchestra, was created in 2005 as a smaller ensemble able to perform chamber orchestra repertoire at the highest level. Its size enables it to play in more intimate locations and gives it the flexibility to tour throughout the year, complementing the activities of the full UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra.
With the success of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra and the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, UBS has created an influential model for supporting cultural projects reflecting the shared values of teamwork, outstanding performance, and passionate commitment. Both orchestras are managed by the Fondation de l'Orchestre de Verbier, a Swiss-based non-profit organization that promotes cultural, artistic, and musical excellence through its support of young musicians.
For more information about the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra and the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, visit www.verbierorchestra.com.